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Live Snooker on Monday August 6: World Open 2018 Day One preview and order of play

Mark Williams plays a shot (credit: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Defending champion Ding Junhui and reigning World Champion Mark Williams are among the star attractions as the first ranking event of the season on Chinese soil gets underway on Monday.

The lucrative world ranking event, which features 72 players competing for £700,000 in prize money, commences in Yushan with a variation of First Round ties and held over matches.



Ding, who defeated Kyren Wilson 10-3 in last year's final to claim this title for the first time, has been drawn to face Thai legend James Wattana for the right to enter the main draw.

Ding, who is shortly due to become a father, is returning to competitive action for the first time since his Quarter-Final defeat to Barry Hawkins in April's World Championship and will be keen to hit the ground running.

Wattana, 48, is a veteran of the circuit having turned professional in 1989 and is bidding for his first win over Ding in only their third meeting.

Reigning and three-time World Champion Williams will take on Germany's top-ranked cueist Lukas Kleckers as the Welsh ace bids to regain his range after bowing out at the Last 32 stage in Riga.

Neil Robertson, who claimed the season's first silverware at the Riga Masters a fortnight ago, aims to pick up from where he left off in Latvia when he faces local qualifier He Guoqiang in their heldover tie.

Neil Robertson greets the fans (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images for Kaspersky)
Another Preliminary Round clash sees 18-year-old Northern Ireland Open finalist Yan Bingtao take on Ashley Carty - who defeated Anthony McGill en route to the Last 32 of the Riga Masters.

Ali Carter, winner of this title two years ago, kicks off his campaign against the notoriously methodical Rory McLeod in the third session of the day.

World number 19 Liang Wenbo aims to delight his home crowd by overcoming young gun James Cahill, while a stand-out fixture sees world number 16 Stephen Maguire take on Thai ace Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Two-time major winner Barry Hawkins faces a tricky opener against Thailand's Akani Songsermsawad, while Marco Fu looks to avenge last year's defeat to Peter Ebdon here when the decorated duo collide once again.

Ricky Walden, whose three major ranking titles have all come in China, aims to avert an early exit when he meets astute tactician Dominic Dale.

Ryan Day, who slipped out of the world's top 16 following the Riga Masters, hopes to kick-start his resurgence by overcoming Wirral cueist Robbie Williams, as Riga Masters runner-up Jack Lisowski takes on Crucible qualifier Chris Wakelin in another tasty tussle.

World number 15 Luca Brecel opens up against Welsh Open semi-finalist Scott Donaldson, as European Masters semi-finalist Zhou Yuelong meets Jamie Jones - who knocked Shaun Murphy out of this year's World Championship in a last-frame decider.

The action gets underway from 2.30am BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of nine frames.


World Open 2018 Match Schedule


All times BST (Local time seven hours ahead)

Monday August 6

Round One (H/O = Heldover match)

2.30am
3 Neil Robertson v He Guoqiang
4 Yan Bingtao v Ashley Carty
5 Mike Dunn v Luo Zetao
6 Ben Woollaston v Bai Langning
7 Jimmy Robertson v Chang Bingyu
10 Robert Milkins v David Lilley
13 Matthew Stevens 0-w/o David Gilbert
19 Lee Walker v Matthew Selt

7.30am
2 Liang Wenbo v James Cahill
8 Mark Williams v Lukas Kleckers
11 Marco Fu v Peter Ebdon
15 Dominic Dale v Ricky Walden
21 Fergal O'Brien v Zhao Xintong
26 Zhou Yuelong v Jamie Jones
28 Rod Lawler v Noppon Saengkham
38 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Stephen Maguire

12.30pm
1 Ding Junhui v James Wattana
14 Rory McLeod v Ali Carter
17 Barry Hawkins v Akani Songsermsawad
22 Scott Donaldson v Luca Brecel
23 Gary Wilson v Tom Ford
27 Ryan Day v Robbie Williams
30 Jak Jones v Zhang Anda
36 Jack Lisowski v Chris Wakelin


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Live Snooker on Monday August 6: World Open 2018 Day One preview and order of play

Defending champion Ding Junhui and reigning World Champion Mark Williams are among the star attractions as the first ranking event of the season on Chinese soil gets underway on Monday.

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